A cruise ship captain with an unbreakable rule. A dancer
who tempts him to toss the rulebook overboard…
A cruise ship captain with an unbreakable rule. A dancer who tempts him to toss the
Will Preston lives by one edict: don’t date staff.
But the new dancer onboard has the silver fox sailing into
unchartered waters. Young, sexy, and with a penchant for lipstick and heels, the man pushes
all Will’s buttons.
It’s not just the tropical sun that’s heating things up; their
chemistry is sizzling.
Will’s been burned before. Can he throw caution to the
wind and chart a new course with Eddie by his side? Or will an interfering crew-member
steer them into stormy seas?
Yes, Captain is a stand-alone, steamy age-gap MM romance set on a cruise ship in the
South Pacific, with a flirty dancer who loves pole dancing and his shy captain. Yes, Captain
was previously published as Dance With Me. This re-release includes over 30,000 words of
never-before-seen bonus content.
The applause from the crowd was
deafening. It wasn’t the first time Eddie had danced in a theatre, but this one was bigger
than anything he’d ever been in before. Tiered seating extended up with row upon row of
filled seats. The two giant screens facing the audience illuminated the first few rows, letting
him see the faces in the crowd. He spotted his parents and brothers and sisters cheering him
on. Jess too. All of them were standing now with the other families in an ovation that
rejuvenated itself like waves on a beach—cresting and washing over them again every time
it started to peter out. The stage lights dimmed and screens blacked out, lengthening the
shadows onstage as the long red velvet curtains on either side of them began to close
Eddie couldn’t wipe the smile
from his face, even as the curtain slowed to a stop, separating the dancers and elite public
school orchestra from the audience. He never wanted the performance to end. He was
bouncing out of his skin, giddy with an adrenaline high. His shoulder had held up, thanks to
his mum strapping it tightly, and he’d pulled every move off with a perfection he’d never
dared hope for.
This was it.
About the Author
By day Ann Grech lives in the corporate world and can be
found sitting behind a desk typing away at reports and papers or lecturing to a room full of
students. She graduated with a PhD in 2016 and is now an over-qualified nerd. Glasses,
briefcase, high heels and a pencil skirt, she’s got the librarian look nailed too. If only they
knew! She swears like a sailor, so that’s got to be a hint. The other one was “the look” from
her tattoo artist when she told him that she wanted her kids initials “B” and “J” tattooed on
her foot. It took a second to register that it might be a bad idea.
She’s never entirely fit in and loves escaping into a
book—whether it’s reading or writing one. But she’s found her tribe now and loves her MM
book world family. She dislikes cooking, but loves eating, can’t figure out technology, but is
addicted to it, and her guilty pleasure is Byron Bay Cookies. Oh and shoes. And lingerie. And
maybe handbags too. Well, if we’re being honest, we’d probably have to add her library too
given the state of her credit card every month (what can she say, she’s a bookworm at
In 2019 she was an Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction:
LGBTQ category of the 2019 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest for her
story In Safe Arms.
She also publishes her raunchier short stories under her pen
name, Olive Hiscock.
Ann loves chatting to people online, so if you’d like to keep up
with what she’s got going on:
Will Robin ever find the
love he’s been denied his entire life?
Coming from wealth but neglected emotionally, Robin
Pavasaris flies to Connecticut, in search
of what he’d missed all his life. The love of a
What he got, however, was a wicked stepmother that
would rival those in fairy tales and a father succumbed to guilt, silent as he watches his son
hurt by another mother figure. Filip Pavasaris is helpless to act. In fact, Robin fears he’ll have
no ally in the huge, cold manor.
That’s until his half-brother, Alex, comes home from
graduate school. The first time they see one another, it was like Robin had found every
dream he hadn’t known he had. Then, he learns their relation and his heart is sore once
It doesn’t matter, however, as Alex takes Robin under his
wing, teaching him how to survive in the home. The more time they spend together, the
more Robin fears he’s falling for his own brother. On top of that, he can never let anyone at
Dove’s Landing know he’s gay. Their religion wouldn’t allow a gay son, and he’d lose the
millions his mother coveted from his trust fund.
A confession and a kiss breaks everything apart, and Robin
runs for his life, and from his heartbreak.
This is an ongoing series, with temporary resolutions
at the end of each, along with a few cliffhangers.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: dubcon/noncon, drug
use, and more! Please read the warning inside the book.
Robin Pavasaris was hurrying to the den near his room where Troy waited, ready to give him
his lessons for the day and something else. Troy was tall and handsome, in a geeky way, but
still, Robin thought he was perfect. Not to mention he loved the guy.
Their affair had started months previous, right around his eighteenth birthday. Troy and he
had flirted for the last couple years of Troy’s employment as his tutor, but he told Robin he
could do nothing about it, since Robin was underage. Once Robin hit that magic, invisible
marker, they’d kissed, made love, and since then, the lessons had been cut short in favor of
spending hours in bed instead.
When he got into the room, there he was, his boyfriend. Well, technically he wasn’t allowed
to call Troy that. Officially, he was Robin’s tutor, but he could have his secret.
“Hey,” he purred.
“Shh. Close the door,” Troy chided. After Robin did just that, he rushed to the table in the
middle of the room, the big glass and chrome desk pushed to the back of the room near the
oversized windows and sat close to Troy.
After a fast kiss on Troy’s succulent lips, Robin whispered, “I missed you.”
Troy was light skinned and marked with a thousand freckles, and Robin was in love with
every single one of them. “Stop horsing around, Robin. You have three finals coming up and
if you fail, your mother will kill me. She has to show your grades to your father.”
“I know, but I concentrate so much better after we…you know.”
Robin was terribly shy, but with Troy, he felt he could let his hair down a little. Not that his
actual hair could be let down, as short as it was, never growing over the tops of his ears, like
his mother liked it. The sandy blond color came from his father, as Chelsea’s was strict black,
but he did inherit her cat-green eyes.
“Not now,” Troy told him, impatient. “Work first, and if we have time…then we’ll fuck.”
“Don’t say it like that,” Robin pleaded, his romantic sensibilities unable to see anything they
were doing as less than the purest form of adoration.
“Fine. We can make love. Get that book open. I already have your assignments lined out
from the website.”
After a long sigh of disappointment, Robin set his mind to task, wanting to do what he had
to, to make Troy happy.
He didn’t care much if his grades suffered. He’d always been a straight-A student, so if his
grades flagged some, it wouldn’t hurt him much. He’d been accepted into a top college,
several, in fact, all far from home so he’d never have to visit if he didn’t want to.
The pages of the book were a blur as he read fast, taking in at least most of the information.
He studied in his room at night, and thought he was likely ready for his finals, but he’d never
“Okay, finish up with that, study those last four pages, they’re big on the exam, then let’s get
“Ugh. I hate trig. I have to think too much.”
He finally got laughter from Troy. “I used to say the same thing. It’ll all come in handy once
you get to college.” He softened more and asked, “Are you excited? To go?”
“Yes. Very. I still hope you can come with me.”
“I live here, Robin. You need to go, start your life.”
Like every time he said things like that, Robin’s heart squeezed painfully, and he felt tears
springing to his eyes, that he quickly blinked away. “You’re…you’re part of my life, Troy.”
“Right now, I am. Robin, I said we’ll talk about this stuff later. Okay?”
Time felt like it was ticking louder and louder in his head, his heart beating right along with
it, faster and faster, until he felt like he couldn’t breathe. “It’s always later, Troy, and this is it!
There is no more later! I’m going away after the summer and we’ll… we might never see
each other again!”
Troy took his face into both hands and stopped Robin’s tirade with a kiss. At first, Robin tried
to pull back from the kiss, but like always, Troy’s warmth, the most warmth he’d gotten from
another human in his life, won over his pain. He let himself be kissed, tilting his head and
letting his breathing finally slow.
When the kiss ended, Troy’s saliva drying on Robin’s lips, he was again lulled into a sense of
love and need. “Let’s get back to work, and I promise, Robin, we’ll talk soon.”
About the Author
I love writing, it’s been my dream for many years, and in
October of 2013, when my first book went live on Amazon, that dream came true.
Writing love stories that are centered on flawed but lovable
characters is my passion. Finding love between people isn’t easy, nor should it be. Even in a
book, there have to be obstacles for the story to feel real.
I am a mother of three amazing people, and three adorable
fur babies. I live in Colorado but love many other places besides my home. One state in
particular is New Mexico, the state where I was born has always held a place in my
People and places make my stories what they are. Each
character I’ve written is a part of me in some way. Each place I write is as well. Adventures
come in many ways, and each of my stories has taken me on an adventure that I
Come with me on my adventures and fall in love with my
characters, as I have. I promise, you will love the ride.
Tate Ward is in a bind. His food truck hasn’t been the
runaway success he’d always dreamt it would be. When he tries to join a new food truck
collective to gain a larger following, his sales aren’t even high enough to win a spot. What he
needs is a high profile endorsement—and he knows just the guy. Tate hasn’t seen Chase Riley since high school. It’s
been ten long years of watching from a distance as Chase conquers football fields and fan’s
hearts. Tate never wanted Chase to know that he had the
world’s stupidest crush on him, because he always believed Chase was
straight. But desperate times call for desperate measures . .
. When Chase offers a tempting plan that could fulfill
all his dreams, Tate knows he can’t say no. All he has to do is pretend that his very real
feelings are actually fake. But faking it with Chase, while leading to wild
success and even wilder nights, is everything that Tate feared it would be. All it’s done is
leave him wanting the impossible: Chase’s heart.
A few minutes later, Tate re-emerged from the shiny silver truck, carrying a paper plate in
one hand and a bottle of water in the other.
He headed in Chase’s direction, and without saying a word, sat down opposite him and slid
the plate across the table.
“Rachel’s heating up the mac and cheese. It’ll be out in a second.”
“No soup?” Chase wondered.
“We’re out.” Tate shrugged. “Busy day. Shouldn’t have come at the end of lunch hour.”
“I had a meeting,” Chase said. One he probably could’ve canceled, but he also knew what
would happen if he’d shown up when there was a crowd here. It’d have become a circus,
and he wouldn’t have gotten a moment alone to talk to Tate.
The grilled cheese was perfectly browned and crispy, glistening at the edges with butter and
melted cheese. It looked just as good as Chase remembered, and when he bit into it . . . bliss.
He chewed and swallowed. Wished he had about a thousand other bites. “This is even
better than I remember it,” Chase said.
Tate drummed his fingers against the worn wooden grain of the tabletop impatiently. “It’s
been ten years. I was a kid. I’ve refined the recipe since then.”
“I don’t suppose you’d tell me your secret ingredient,” Chase wondered.
Tell me all your secrets. Please.
“Secret ingredient? Time? Patience?” Tate seemed annoyed he was here, and maybe it was
his fear of being found out but, deep down, Chase was worried it was something else.
Maybe it had only been Chase who’d been so affected by their classes together twice a
week. He hadn’t wanted to believe that was true, because he knew flirting and Tate had
undeniably flirted with him. Had always responded, even when Chase hadn’t really known
what they were doing.
Honestly, he still didn’t know what they’d been doing.
Chase finished one triangular half with three more big bites. “Well, I thought about this
sandwich a lot,” he said.
I thought about you.
Tate looked incredulous. “I made you one grilled cheese sandwich, in high
school, and you’ve been thinking about it ever since? For ten years?”
It sounded ridiculous when Tate put it like that. “Well, it was a good sandwich,” Chase
retorted. “And so is this one.”
“Does this mean you’re not going to sue us?”
Chase groaned. “I never planned on suing you. I just wanted . . .” What had he wanted? He hadn’t let himself contemplate exactly what it was that he
wanted from Tate, hadn’t given himself the chance, but now, even with Tate seemingly
annoyed, that indescribable tension hummed between them.
He’d wanted to know that he hadn’t misremembered or imagined it after all. He’d wanted to
know if it had been real.
“No? You just came here to intimidate me?”
“Oh for God’s sake,” Chase said. “I’m not here to sue you or intimidate you or any of that
crap. Is it so hard to believe I just wanted to see you again? See how you’re doing?”
Tate stared at him. Those gray eyes—usually so warm but opaque now—had always
unnerved him. Before, in the best possible ways. But now? Chase didn’t know what to think.
“You really aren’t here to demand I stop talking about you?”
Chase shrugged. “You posted that you make my favorite sandwich in LA. Technically, it was true. You did, just ten years ago. And now I’ve confirmed, officially, that you still do.”
Tate tugged off his beanie and ran his hand through his hair, the auburn strands of it shining
in the mid-afternoon California sunshine. “I’m sorry, it’s just hard for me to believe that
you’re not pissed.”
“I could pretend to be pissed off if it’d make you feel better,” Chase offered.
Tate chuckled. “No, no, that’s okay. I’m . . . I guess I’m just surprised. I’d have thought you’d
hate people who use your name.”
“Most people, yeah,” Chase admitted, biting into the second half of his sandwich. “But
you’re not most people. Never have been.”
About the Author
A lifelong Pacific
Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive
husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in
Beth has been writing
practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing,
titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s
published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.
For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.
Insomnia. It’s part of the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel of my car nearly introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.
Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to become enthralled by the voice of its creator, Sam Stephenson. His ability to coax forth my nightly surrender is unnerving. I have to meet this man and learn the secret behind his techniques, so I can evict him from my head—and still get a good night’s sleep.
In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my business skills as much as I need his meditation skills and we forge an unlikely partnership. But the attraction between us soon flares into passion and, as we grow closer, I start to long for more than my guilty conscience will allow.
I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?
“We’re running out of time.”
“So, we are,” I say with a false show of surprise. “It’s my fault, of course.” I pause, trying to figure out how to word the next part without making it obvious this was part of my plan all along. “I could always email you the questions. Then you can take as long as you like to answer them. After you send them back, I’ll write up a plan and we can meet again to discuss it.”
He looks aghast at the idea. “That’s a lot of work. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.”
“Actually, Sam, I’m the one asking for more of your time.” I brandish my most charming smile. It’s worked on men in the past, though I’m not usually trying this hard for the win. Desperation may have knocked the polish off.
Sam’s mouth drops open and somehow he manages to look panicked and thrilled at the same time. “You want to see me again?” he asks. “For the quid pro quo, I mean.”
“If you don’t mind.” I try to look calm, but my pulse is roaring like an express train. If he says no, I’m screwed. “I know this is all a bit odd, me coming to you the way I have. I suppose I hoped, once we met, you might be willing to give this whole process some more time.”
He shifts in his chair again, his gaze dropping. There’s no sign of his earlier trepidation, though, only a subtle wariness. “This was never going to be one hour, was it?”
“Not really, no,” I say, surprised at my honesty. “Not if we’re both going to get what we want from this.”
I can feel his attention all over me, even with his gaze glued to the table. “What exactly do you want from me, Tristan?”
It’s the voice. Right there in front of me. Coming from his mouth. Holy fuck.
Hearing that voice say my name, after all the ways I’ve used and abused his—in curses and moans and whispered pleas—is a goddamned fantasy come to life. Lust surges through my veins and I want to growl in frustration. This infatuation has to end. “I need to stop sleeping with you.”
His head snaps upright and we both gasp.
My right hand slaps over my mouth. “Fuck, I didn’t mean it like that.”
Looking away again, he releases a shaky breath. “It’s all right.” He runs absent hands along his arms, soothing a severe case of goosebumps. Sam is responding to my voice, my words, the same way I inevitably respond to his.
How would we respond to each other’s touch? Stifling a groan, I shift clenched fists into my lap. That’s not what this is about. I’m obsessed enough without learning the texture of his skin and the taste of his—
Sam starts to laugh, really laugh. “That stupid name,” he manages to say between breaths. “Sleep with Me. It wasn’t even my idea, but it certainly does get a reaction.” There’s another peel of laughter, as if he’s releasing all the tension from his body, and I find myself joining in. Every time we look at each other it gets worse and before I know it my stomach is sore from laughing. It feels good to laugh at myself. Weird, but good.
“Let me rephrase,” I say as we start to regain our composure. “What I mean is, now you’ve succeeded in getting me to sleep, I want to figure out how to do it on my own.”
“Should be easy enough. It’s probably something in the phrasing.”
Reality seeps back in, killing off the last of my amusement. “No, it’s something else.” Sam isn’t the first person to tell me to let go of my guilt. My mother used to say it constantly. It wasn’t your fault, Tristan. You shouldn’t blame yourself.She didn’t believe her words any more than I did, but she tried. “I don’t know what it is about you that’s different. I don’t think it’s necessarily something you can teach me, but whatever it is, I need to figure it out.”
“So, what’s the plan?” he asks with a baffled expression. “Are you going to hang around me until you get your answer through osmosis or something?”
“Maybe? I don’t know.” I drop my head into my hands. “Honestly, I’m making this up as I go along.”
“You and me both,” he says with a snort. “I don’t know if I can give you the answer you’re looking for, Tristan. But I’ll try.”
Slumping back in my chair, I release a sigh. “Thank you, Sam.”
He smiles that tiny smile and I try not to drool when his cheeks turn pink. “It’s my pleasure.”
About the Author
Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.
Even at that young age Zach knew that those two truths – all-star athlete and homosexual male – could not exist concurrently. So, he’d started dating Rebecca, his devoutly Catholic girlfriend who wants to wait to have sex until she’s married, during his junior year of high school and never looked back.
But on the last night of a team trip to Rome, on the cusp of his senior season at Northwestern University, a Heisman, a number 1 draft pick and a National Championship, Zach seeks out one last anonymous encounter. He opens Grindr and slips out into the Italian summer night to meet Liam – Liam who has a face that looks like it was carved from Carrara marble by one of the ancient greats and whose brazen facade becomes sheepish when he’s asked about his past in Paris. The night is intense, better than Zach could have imagined. But like all one-night stands, it comes to an end by morning’s light.
But what happens to Zach’s carefully manicured plans for a professional football career and a life in the closet when Liam shows up, not only on the Northwestern campus the first day of the fall semester, but in Zach’s upper-level Plato seminar, too?
“What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar?” Liam snapped.
“Um, I’m fulfilling my degree requirements,” Zach snapped back. “What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar? You live in Rome.”
“No, I was regrouping in Rome. I’d been going to school in Paris before that but—Wait, degree requirements? You’re a Classics major? Mr. Hotshot-starting-quarterback is a Classics major?” Liam’s voice came out shriller than he would have liked.
Zach set his hips back against the table, crossing his arms with a sudden smugness. “A Classics major focusing in Pax Romana philosophers with a 3.7 GPA, you mean? Yeah. I am. How do you think I recognized that ridiculous Metamorphoses quote on your Grindr profile?”
“I figured you Googled it like everyone else usually did.”
Zach’s face softened at Liam’s unintentional reveal. “Why didn’t you say anything about coming to school in the States that night?” Zach asked.
Liam leveled him with a look. “I don’t remember us doing an awful lot of talking.”
“We talked enough. You could have mentioned it.”
“I’d only decided to come here a week or so before we met,” Liam explained. “I barely knew anything about Northwestern aside from the fact that it has a pretty well-respected music program. Certainly not enough to know it has some big deal football team. And besides, what were the chances?”
“I’m not a betting man, but I definitely wouldn’t have taken these odds.” Doe-eyed panic lingered on Zach’s face even as he shifted to a more conversational tone. “So, the music school, huh? That’s cool. I remember you had music on your desk. What do you play?”
“Piano mostly, but I’m a composition major. I added a Classics minor ‘cause I can, here. My other school didn’t offer liberal arts courses.” Zach nodded, and Liam realized it was probably his turn to attempt conversation. “A jock with a brain, then. Color me impressed.”
Zach gave a bored lift of his shoulder. “It makes for a great human-interest story. I think every bad pun about Greek gods or Roman gladiators has been made about me at least once. The ESPN announcers think they are so fucking clever.”
Liam stared at him. “You keep saying these things thinking I know what they mean.”
“ESPN.” Zach gave him a patient grin. “It’s a cable sports network that shows games. You know, on the TV.”
“Yeah, alright.” Liam’s pursed lips morphed into an unbidden smile.
It was impossible not to note how the tension in the room had slipped away. The looks that passed between them carried a certain playfulness once they were forced to accept the inconceivable fact that they were both here in the same city, at the same school, and even in the same class. And into that ease slipped the feelings of attraction and memories of the intimacy they’d found on Liam’s mattress by the end of their night together. Liam had sought hidden parts of Zach’s body with his fingers. That small, insinuating touch, burned into his memory, had ignited such terrified want in Zach’s bright blue eyes that Liam had known that he would have been allowed to feel Zach from the inside if only they’d had more time. One more night. One more hour, even. And now here Zach was, standing before him. It was as baffling as it was thrilling. Liam certainly wouldn’t mind if they wound up hooking up again.
“Look,” Zach started, “This is crazy that you’re here, and I hope you love your time at Northwestern as much as I have, but it’s probably for the best if we don’t interact.”
Liam was rendered mute.
“I mean, I know we’re in class together,” Zach continued. “We’ll have to interact, discussion grades and everything, but what I mean is, we shouldn’t be friendly.”
“Why not?” Liam asked after another stunned beat.
“It’s nothing personal. In fact, I think you’re—” Zach stopped. He pressed his eyes closed and shook his head sadly. He took another steadying breath before speaking again. “It would make things really difficult for me. Like I told you in Rome, no one knows about me. About me and…” He spoke the next word at a careful volume. “Men. In fact, you’re the only person on this entire campus who does.”
Zach’s sexuality was a secret that should have bound them. But instead, Zach was using it to put a wedge between them, between even the possibility of them. Liam didn’t think the conversation could get any more ridiculous.
About the Author
I named myself “Ingrid” after a character in a story I started writing and will never finish.
I named myself “Sterling” after my dad’s boyhood dreams.
I’m a Yankee who has lived south of the Mason Dixon for a decade and I use ‘Y’all’ without irony. I dance in my kitchen. I vote. I love all the cats in the world and a good IPA. I will scream over college sports.
I write about love, with love, because #loveislove.
With two degrees in music performance, I strive to make my words sing. The rhythm and pacing of the prose are as important to me as my complicated, imperfect characters and my guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
A Hollywood executive. A
sexy barista. A bold proposition.
Crossing Lines is a sexy and sweet age-gap, opposites-attract mm
romance set in Hollywood.
When Matt is propositioned by Jasper, a hot older guy, he’s
more than down. That is until he realizes Jasper has a boyfriend, and Matt would be joining
them both. He’s not into it, especially since the boyfriend is a jerk. What Matt doesn’t
expect is the lingering disappointment that the handsome man who approached him wasn’t
Jasper is not used to rejection. He didn’t become one of
the most successful executives in Hollywood by accepting defeat. So when Matt, the sexy
young barista, turns him down flat, he’s determined to find out why, especially when there
is such undeniable chemistry between them.
Crossing Lines is the third book in the Hollywood Hopefuls series, but it works as a standalone
Jasper turned in Reid’s arms and simply nodded. Reid’s face
lit up, and he drug Jasper off the dance floor. They made their way to the bar to reload on
drinks, then they found a small table in the bar area to scope out their options. After quickly
scanning the bar, Jasper knew they’d have no trouble finding a willing third. While he was
probably a solid 8, even at his age, Reid was a fucking 10, taking tall, dark and handsome to
a whole other level. Jasper could already see guys shooting them the Pick me! Pick me!
eyes. They were practically licking their lips.
“How about him,” Reid said, nodding his head toward a
table near the back. Jasper followed his gaze to a table with three young guys, seemingly in
jovial conversation. He watched the three men for a few minutes, trying to gauge their
relationship to one another. It certainly seemed like they were close, but the vibe was very
platonic. Easy laughs, casual postures, but not sitting close or touching at all. They appeared
to be oblivious to the entire club around them, and from what Jasper could tell, they were
celebrating. Judging by the baby face on the one guy, it could be his 21st birthday. Jesus. I’m old enough to be that kid’s
“I hope you’re not talking about the ginger, because if you
are, I’m going to have to institute a must be old
enough to rent a car policy.” He shot Reid a
Reid laughed. “Not the baby gay. The blonde.”
Jasper considered this. The blonde was also really young,
early twenties at best. He was good looking in a boy-next-door sort of way, but Jasper wasn’t
particularly attracted to the innocent type. If they were going to have a threesome, he
wanted someone who would know what to do. And when his eyes flicked to the third man
at the table, all Jasper could think was “Bingo.”
“Him,” Jasper said, not phrasing it as a question.
“Lip Ring?” Reid lifted an eyebrow.
Jasper slowly raked his eyes over the man, considering his
appearance. There was something about him that seemed vaguely familiar, thought he was
sure they didn’t know one another. He’d certainly have remembered meeting him. He was
young, too, but older than the other two. Definitely still in his twenties. He had black hair
that was shaved on the sides and longer on top, and it had a few streaks of blue in it. He had
piercings in his eyebrow and lip, and while the black hair and piercings would make a lot of
guys look rough, the man’s clear blue-grey eyes and easy smile made him seem
approachable, kind even. He was long and lean, dressed in all black, tight jeans and a t-shirt
that was rolled at the sleeves. His exposed arms were all creamy-pale skin contrasted with
stark, bold tattoos, all black and grey and striking blue.
“Yeah,” Jasper croaked, realizing he had been staring for
longer than he probably should have been, “him.”
Reid grinned. “Fuck yeah. I’ll go say hi. You go grab a…looks
like he’s drinking a beer?”
Jasper stood up quickly. “I’ll go talk to him. You get the
About the Author
Jeris Jean is a life-long
Minnesotan with an obsessive love of books. She has a master’s degree in English Literature
but didn’t write her first novel until she was in her mid-thirties. Something just “clicked,”
and all fell into its rightful place.
Jeris is a lover of cats, coffee,
binge-watching tv shows, her bffs, puzzles, knitting, white sunglasses, black nail polish,
purple hair, and reading and writing like it’s going out of style, especially mm
She lives with her husband,
two sons and their cat, Fluffy Cat Love, in a lovely little suburb of Minneapolis.
Ashley Mostrich gets one heck of a birthday surprise when
the guy he brought home for the night turns out to be the twin brother of the prince he
didn’t know he was supposed to marry. Unbeknownst to Ashley, his grandpa made a deal
with a jinn and promised him off to the royal family before he was even born.
Zamir is the heir to the mystical kingdom of Palmyra and
promises he will love Ashley in time, while his younger brother, Zaire, is trying to get into
Ashley ‘s bed again. Ashley wants to be a faithful fiancé to Zamir, but he cannot deny the
powerful chemistry he feels with Zaire. Additional jealousy flares when Ashley discovers that
Zamir’s heart already belongs to another, but the pressure for the wedding is on because
the future of the Palmyran people hinges on a royal union magically producing an
Once Ashley realizes that Zaire’s feelings for him might be
more than physical, he finds himself falling in love with the wrong brother and risking the
fate of the entire kingdom. It’ll take a miracle—or one very powerful wish—for everyone to
have a happy ending.
“Why does everyone keep calling me ‘savior’?”
“You don’t know? About the prophecy?” Zaire questioned
Zaire made a sour face, mumbling a few soft curses before
clearing his throat. “My brother is truly an idiot. Come with me,” he said, taking Ashley’s
arm and guiding him back toward where the little girl was.
People were bringing her little trinkets and baubles,
receiving a slice of the cake from her in exchange. She had a crown of flowers in her hair,
well dressed, and seemed to be of some importance despite her youth.
Ashley watched for a few moments. “Who is that?”
“That is Lady Alana,” Zaire replied, waiting for the name to
settle in Ashley’s brain.
“Lady Alana. Wait, she’s the birthday girl?”
“Yes,” Zaire said, something sad in his voice. “Our people
are dying, Ashley. Slowly but surely, jinn are fading away. Every generation has gotten
smaller and smaller, and there hasn’t been a new jinn child born in over thirty
“Thirty years… Alana was the last one?”
“Yes. Even with all our proper breeding and perfect little
arranged marriages, every mating ritual since her birth has failed. But there’s a prophecy,
you see, that a royal wedding will bless the entire kingdom with an entire new generation of
“Wait a damn second, that little girl is freakin’
“Yes,” Zaire huffed impatiently. “We don’t age as humans
do. Now, do you understand why you are so important?”
“Everyone actually believes that me getting knocked up by
your brother or me knocking him up is the future of your entire race?”
“Mmm, pretty much. It’ll probably be you getting knocked
up, to be honest. But you know, no pressure!”
“Fuck,” Ashley mumbled, rubbing a hand over his face and
chugging his drink.
“My brother knows what’s at stake,” Zaire said gently, a
tone meant to be comforting. “He will make amends for his behavior, I know it.”
“Do you believe the prophecy?”
Zaire’s brows furrowed, and he glanced down at his mug as
he thought over the question. He took a small sip before he said, “I believe that other
people believe it’s true. I’ve never been much for fate or destiny. I much prefer the idea that
I’m in control of my own life.”
“You realize this makes what you did even more screwed
“If the prophecy is real, you risked the future of your race
just to piss off your brother.”
“First of all,” Zaire drawled, wagging his finger, “I never
planned for ‘what we did’ to go that far. I truly had no intentions of having sex with you. I
was expecting to find a blushing virgin, not an insatiable bedroom hellcat—”
“A bedroom what now?”
“And second of all,” Zaire went on with a smirk, “it was
quite impossible to think about the good of my people once I had tasted your gorgeous
“Zaire!” Ashley protested, whipping around to see if
anyone was listening. He stared back at Zaire, and he suddenly realized that although he
could hear his voice, his lips were not moving.
“When you were screaming my name, all I thought about
was wanting to hear that sweet sound as many times as I possibly could.”
Ashley gulped, blood creeping up into his cheeks as he
stammered, “That’s… that’s, uhm, that was very s-selfish of you.”
“I know,” Zaire said out loud with a smug little smile. “I’m a
very selfish person. At times, quite envious as well.”
“Seeing my brother get all the things I want for myself has
become a bit tiresome,” Zaire replied, his lips not moving again, and yet his voice was fully in
Ashley’s ear as he stepped into his space. “Not very fair at all.”
“How, how are you doing that?” Ashley hissed, instinctively
“The talking without talking.”
“Magic,” replied Zaire’s voice in his ear.
“You’ve gotta stop saying those kinds of things,” Ashley
barked, cringing when he noticed his raised voice earned them several curious
“Hmm, I didn’t actually say a thing,” Zaire pointed out
“Fine! Stop not saying those things!”
About the Author
K.L. “Kat” Hiers is an
embalmer, restorative artist, and queer writer. Licensed in both funeral directing and funeral
service, she’s been working in the death industry for nearly a decade. Her first love was
always telling stories, and she has been writing for over twenty years, penning her very first
book at just eight years old. Publishers generally do not accept manuscripts in Hello Kitty
notebooks, however, but she never gave up.
Following the success of her
first novel, Cold Hard Cash, she now enjoys writing professionally, focusing on spinning tales
of sultry passion, exotic worlds, and emotional journeys. She loves attending horror movie
conventions and indulging in cosplay of her favorite characters. She lives in Zebulon, NC,
with her husband and their children, some of whom have paws and a few that only pretend
to because they think it’s cute.
My first relationship ended with a dramatic event, and police involvement. Needless to say, I wasn’t keen starting a new one. But a knock on the door one random night changed everything. After exchanging some witty banter through my closed oak door, safety first, I threw it open to find an exquisite bearded man, hair tied back, muscles on display… all-in-all, my fantasy come to life.
I wove elaborate dreams around the two of us within minutes, yet my illusion shattered when I learned he was straight. But the protective and intense man became a fixture in my life, and no matter how many times I tell myself he’s not available, I stubbornly hold out hope.
I can’t figure out what shocked me more. The realization I’m not only attracted to a man, but to my dazzling, openly gay, younger next-door neighbor who makes every protective instinct in me flare. Or at the ripe old age of thirty-four, I’m stupidly fighting against my one chance at happiness.
Despite my grumpy and staid personality, the brilliant and funny man introduced me to his world, his family, and worked his way into my heart. The more I’m immersed in everything Neko, my desire for him only grows.
Yep, completely screwed.
Gamer’s Choice features an age gap, bisexual awakening romance between a professional let’s player and his new neighbor. It’s a standalone gay/bisexual romance with an instant connection and a ten-year age difference.
~Descriptions of domestic violence and stalking, includes abuse from an ex-partner, descriptions of an attempted assault with a weapon. Please avoid if the subject matter is triggering.~
I don’t know why I did this to myself.
The situation was not tenable. I hunched my shoulders close to my ears, spine frozen in place and arched away from the back of my ergonomic chair, and if I tensed any more, I’m sure I would sprain something.
My gaze darted around the darkened room and I listened out for any signs of the upcoming attack, and I realized I hadn’t spoken in several minutes. I found a locker for a momentary reprieve and slipped inside.
But as I opened my mouth, hoping whatever words I spewed forth came across as witty and brilliant, the ghost girl who’d stalked me for two hours popped up in front of my hiding space with no warning, baring her teeth with a growl.
To add to my humiliation, she surged toward me with a screech. An embarrassing scream punched up from my chest and past my throat as I wretched the headphones from my ears and covered my eyes with my hands.
I listened to my heart thumping hard in my chest, worrying me for a long minute, until the rhythm decreased and my fear dissipated.
It’s not real. So not real.
By the time I opened my eyes, I caught sight of the screen as the fake blood dripped down from the top of the monitor and the words ‘Game Over’ flashed at me.
My eyes tracked up toward the camera and I said, “Well, that’s all I have time for today. Yes, I am going to pass the last few minutes off as though they never happened. I hope you enjoyed that as much as Echo will, and I’ll catch you next time. Later.”
I held up two fingers, flashing the peace sign, my signature, I stopped the recording before reaching for the stainless steel bottle I kept handy. With the last remnants of the ice-cold water swirling around, enough to sustain me and sooth my sore throat until I dragged myself downstairs for a refill and cooked myself dinner, I tilted the bottle back and swallowed.
My best friend, who was the greatest editor I’ve ever known, was waiting for my text. She’d handle everything for the upload.
It’s ready for you. Don’t laugh too hard.
Got it. I’ll laugh the right amount, thank you very much.
I shook my head and stood.
Like me, Echo started her career because of an interest in something she loved. She cut her own movie trailers, which she somehow included proper voice overs, and they were so much better than what a normal Hollywood production churned out.
When I started gaming online, she offered to edit my videos, which involved me rambling through whatever game I was playing, hoping whoever watched paid more attention to the game than my acne covered face and squeaky voice. My excuse for the awkwardness… I was sixteen.
Since then, I’ve developed into a lanky, long-limbed, acne-free, deep-voiced man who enjoys speaking to others through the internet and connecting them to a community they are proud of. I thank the deities above I moved past puberty without causing harm to myself or others.
But Echo followed my channel and realized before I did that I’d gained subscribers at a steady rate. She promoted herself to my full-time editor when we were nineteen. Although she has her own successful channel, a fashion and beauty one, I keep her busy with my upload schedule.
My stomach growled, and I shot a glance at the clock. Two hours past my normal recording time. I stretched my arms over my head, hearing the usual popping sounds in my joints from whenever I sat too long at my desk.
Done for the day, I tucked in my chair and reached over to shut off the three monitors, but as I turned to exit, I noticed my opened office door.
Although my house was on the corner of a cul-de-sac with a gigantic yard surrounding it, I attempted to keep my profession from bothering my neighbors. So I closed the door whenever I recorded because I’m not quiet. And when I remodeled the house a few years before, I added soundproofing to the entire top floor.
I’d chosen to buy the house because the bedrooms were on the second floor. The rooms were spacious enough my setup was away from the windows, and the bonus had been the rest of the place. Curved doorways, wooden floors throughout, the modern kitchen that included a farmhouse sink along with the dual oven gas range, and the sunroom that faced the backyard.
The three-bedroom house was enormous for only me. But my family lived close by and on the weekends, and sometimes during the week when mom and dad hounded them about homework and the possibility of their interest in either boys or girls, my parents weren’t picky, my twin sisters stayed over with me.
It wasn’t as if I had a social life they could interrupt. I’d tried years before, and it turned out to be a disaster, so I’d given up. Instead, I concentrated on my career. And when I wasn’t working, I divided my time between Echo or my family.
Tired of my depressing thoughts of being alone with no man in my bed, I headed out of the room and downstairs, wondering what I might make for dinner. After, I would indulge in a true crime YouTube marathon.
The moment I hit the last step, a knock from the front door stopped me in my tracks. At close to nine on a school night ruled out my sisters dropping in for a visit, and Echo was busy editing. Curious, I padded over to the front door.
Thinking myself stealthy in my woolen-clad feet, I stopped about a half a foot in front of solid oak and placed my hands on the smooth wood before inching forward. Through the peephole, my eye focused on a solid figure facing away from me. He was tall, so my tired brain played out a fantasy where a gorgeous man realized he could no longer live without me and was waiting outside to declare his feelings.
But what’s the likelihood of that?
Still freaked out from being immersed in a horror game and catching the damp chill of the night air from the thunderstorm earlier, I opened my mouth and forced words through my tight throat.
“You are unfamiliar to me, so before I open this door I have to ask, are you a serial killer?”
Yeah, my conversation skills rock.
The man turned toward the door, but his height prevented me from seeing any defining features. The deeper voice on the other side answered, “Um, that’s a new one. I’m not, but I don’t know if you’re going to take my word for it.”
“Shit! You make a good point. Well, let me ask you this? Are you here to use my phone because your car broke down and your mobile ‘died’?”
My dumb ass used air quotes as if he could see me. To be honest, I’m surprised I’m still alive.
The stranger huffed out a snicker. The sound did not send flutters of pleasure through me.
“Are you always this suspicious?”
My head nodded up and down before I slapped my forehead and replied, “I think that’s what an untrustworthy, immoral man would say, using reverse psychology to make me feel guilty for being unhelpful, which would make me lower my inhibitions and let you inside.”
The man had the nerve to laugh, a deep, throaty, sexy sound. He asked, “You read that in a book, right?”
“Well, I didn’t read it, per se, I heard it in an audiobook from a retired FBI agent about how following your instincts could save your life and the only reason I listened to it because both of my sisters refused. I admit, it scared the poop out of me, but if I can keep them safe, I would do it again.”
“That’s fair, I suppose. But no, I’m not here to harm you and I’m not a criminal. I heard a scream and thought it was a woman in distress, so I thought I would check.”
My hesitation forgotten in that moment, I jerked open the door and glared at the chest in front of me.
Sometimes I hated being short.
I gulped as my eyes traveled upward until I met amused gray eyes, one eyebrow arched in question.
“I knew that would do it?” The tall man who I would love to climb said.
“Shit, did I say that aloud?”
Another chuckle and I forced my eyes up again.
About the Author
Valerie resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband. While she had been interested in writing a romance novel for years, it wasn’t until she wrote her first book that she really became hooked, and now she can’t stop. She has notebooks full of ideas, and she plans to write most of them in the years to come.
When she’s not writing or learning about the craft of writing, she can be found surfing the internet way too much, watching Investigation Discovery and thinking that her neighbors are up to no good, and finding new ways to get her husband to laugh.
Connor is out. Liam is the secretly gay football player. Together they must navigate a hush-hush relationship while working together to solve the murder of Liam’s sister.
17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her… Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home. Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly. Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out?
I left the hair salon the following evening.
A faint chill permeated the air, and the waxiness of the full moon glinted against the ground, providing extra lighting while I walked to my Mercedes.
Normally, I wouldn’t have picked a 7:00 P.M. appointment, but it was all the hair salon had had on such short notice.
“The fuck you doing at a hair salon?” someone called.
I whipped my body around. Liam stood about ten feet from me.
“I’ve gotta go.” I pulled out my car keys, then grabbed the car door handle.
“Please don’t leave,” he pleaded.
I looked over my shoulder, meeting his eyes. “Why would I do you any favors?”
“Because I wanted to apologize.”
Wow. Lucky me, getting two surprises in less than a week. First Evelyn’s death, now this. The only difference was that there was a chance this surprise would be wanted.
About the Author
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing) and his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, Chris had several other books released in 2020, including his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA). Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.
Austin Steele is my idol. He’s also the guy I can’t get enough of.
Austin Steele is my idol. He’s also the guy I can’t get enough of.
Everyone thinks they know who I am—one of pop’s biggest divos. They don’t know me at all. Austin Steele makes me want to see the real me, only there’s some problems:
We’re both omegas, he’s nineteen years my senior, he’s nursing old wounds, and he wants to keep what’s happening between us a secret.
I thought a one-night stand was all I wanted. Now it’s becoming so much more. But how can we look to the future when we can’t let go of our pasts?
Unapologetically Me is the third book in Offbeat Shifters, an m/m paranormal romance series with a continuing storyline. This book includes a misunderstood and unapologetic Arctic fox shifter, a caring capuchin monkey shifter, and a HFN ending. While it’s set in an alternate universe where omegas give birth, there are no pregnancy or birth scenes in this book.
“I can’t remember the last time I just hung out with someone before this week.” I laid my head on his shoulder. “That’s not true. It was right before my first album went viral.”
“That’s a long time.” Austin didn’t sound even remotely surprised.
“I guess you know how that feels, huh?”
“The cupcakes will be cool enough to decorate.” I cleared my throat and stood.
We’d been having fun, and I didn’t want to drag the day down with drama about how lonely I was. Had been. Could I consign my loneliness to past tense now that I was spending time with Austin?
“I’ll help you make some icing if you want.”
“That might help,” Austin said around a chuckle.
I showed him the recipe I liked to use, loaded up a piping bag for him, and hand over hand showed him how to use it.
“You’ve gotta be gentle,” I said as I left him to it.
I carefully cut a hole out of the centre of each of my cupcakes, into which I pushed a fresh strawberry. Then I popped the top back on and began to ice them. I’d coloured my icing a soft shade of pink, much paler than the bright red of the strawberries. Using a controlled motion, I spiralled the icing onto the top of each cupcake.
“Bollocks!” Austin said.
I looked around to see that his hands were covered in icing, and the nozzle had shot off the piping bag onto one of his cupcakes. Icing dripped everywhere.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “You squeezed too hard, didn’t you?”
“It wasn’t coming out,” he grumbled.
He put the piping bag into a bowl, washed his hands, and grabbed a spoon. I watched for a moment as he dolloped icing onto the top of each cupcake. They looked anything but pretty. Still chuckling to myself, I finished mine off by sprinkling the tiny pieces of chopped strawberry over the icing.
“It’s obvious who’s won,” Austin said.
“No, it’s not. Don’t we have to do a taste test or something?”
“I guess so.”
“Get a couple of plates out.”
He complied. I cut one of his cupcakes in half and put a piece on each plate, then did the same with one of my own.
“We could use our fingers?”
“I’m pretty sure that’s not how they do it on cooking shows.”
Austin smiled and grabbed a couple of forks. “We should taste the same one.” He handed me a fork. “Mine first.”
“So we’re saving the best until last? We’ll need to eat yours to get rid of the taste of mine.”
“They can’t be that bad.”
He raised his eyebrows. We both took a bite.
“Oh.” The cupcake was like a dry rock in my mouth.
“See what I mean?” Austin said around his own mouthful.
I grabbed some water to wash it down. “They’re not bad for a beginner. A little dry.”
“You might want to try adding a bit of milk when you’re mixing the ingredients. It helps to make the mixture light and fluffy.”
“What would help the taste?”
“Some vanilla-bean paste. It’s much better than vanilla extract,” I added, glancing at the small brown bottle of extract that Austin had bought but obviously not used in his own cakes.
Austin nodded thoughtfully before trying my cake. He closed his eyes and murmured his approval. “Now this is like an orgasm in my mouth.”
I snorted a laugh. “A what?”
“An orgasm in my mouth.” He devoured the rest of his half of the cupcake and then put his plate down. “You win.” He wrapped his arms around my waist.
“What do I win?”
“A kiss.” His lips and tongue tasted of strawberries and icing.
Check out the first two books in the Offbeat Shifters Series
Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.